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Image / Editorial

In Pictures: Fire at Notre Dame Cathedral devastates 850-year-old building

by Edaein OConnell
16th Apr 2019

A fire which engulfed the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris last night has caused severe damage to the structure of the 850-year-old building.

The fire, which burned for several hours, destroyed the cathedral’s iconic spire which collapsed to the ground, as well as the cathedral’s roof. The pair of bell towers, which are synonymous with the building, survived; however many priceless artefacts and religious relics have been lost.

Millions raised to save it

French president Emmanuel Macron said in a statement: “Notre Dame is our history, our imagination, where we’ve lived all our great moments, and is the epicentre of our lives. It’s the story of our books, our paintings.

“It’s the cathedral for all French people, even if they have never been. But it is burning and I know this sadness will be felt by all of our citizens”.

The president also said a national subscription would be launched in France to help with the rebuilding of the cathedral. It has been reported that French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, the CEO of Kering Group which owns Gucci and YSL, has pledged over €100 million to the effort.

While the cause of the fire is still unknown, the Paris prosecutor has launched an investigation. Arson and terror-related motives have already been ruled out, with the police carrying out an investigation into “involuntary destruction caused by fire”. The site was undergoing renovations and the building was surrounded by scaffolding at the time the fire broke out.

The blaze has since been confirmed as “under control”, nine hours since it initially began. One firefighter has been confirmed injured.

In pictures

In the aftermath, mourning crowds gathered near Notre Dam prayed and sang ‘Ave Maria’.

Many on social media have also been sharing their memories of the famous Parisian landmark.

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  • Five beauty trends I saw on every French girl (and how not to pack for Paris)… here